Friday, November 9, 2012


This is the wikipedia picture of the crab nebula (m1).  Looks like a poster in Jimi Hendrix's bedroom.  I set out looking for this guy again tonight and once again came in with a cold nose and no check beside M1.  
So I found out more about a Messier's Marathon.  These guys try to find all 110 objects in one night.  I'm trying to find one stinking blur of light in the night sky and I'm getting stumped.  Saul texted me about 10:30 and said I needed to get outside and enjoy the stars tonight. I shuffled my scope out the door and resumed the search for M1.  I googled "how to find the crab nebula" and a explanation came up first.  (The article on  I looked between one of taurus's horns and betelgeuse and I saw the star that marked the other horn.  I scanned with my binoculars-nothing.  I looked through the low-power eyepiece on my scope that I still have no idea how to use- nothing.  I even put in a higher power eyepiece- big surprise, nothing.  

Here's a picture from that shows how to find M1.  

If this marathon is supposed to last 1 night, what is my search gonna be called if i've finished day 2 without taking my first step?  Messier's ____________?  I did get to check out Jupiter while I was out there.  It was in Taurus and looked nice.  I also scouted out my marathon route a little by checking out M42, the orion nebula.  That makes two of the 110 objects that I've checked out through my scope.  
I tried to take a picture through the eyepiece with my iphone and that was another unfruitful venture for the evening.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


There's definitely plenty of garden status to update, not to mention my new garden at the school house as Ronnie Davis would call it.  But, tonight I started my messier's marathon.
For our first anniversary, lauren got me a nice telescope.  We went down to Kara's house on Dewee's Island and she had these huge presents in the back seat.  I couldn't fit the cooler in the car to take it to the beach because of the gifts, but I knew she was trying to be sweet so I figured I could handle warm beers on the beach.  Anyway, the night we got down there she wanted me to open my presents.  She got me a nice scope and a bunch of eyepieces.  I got her a pearl necklace but she already had one so she took it back to the store when we got home and got some nice earrings.
So I was thinking about the telescope at the schiele the next weekend and I thought I could try to see all of the messier's objects.  I thought it was a pretty original idea until I started looking for a list and found books called the "Messier Marathon" and variations on that.  Well, I haven't read any of those books but i have checked on wikipedia and I know that M1 is the crab nebula in taurus.  Theres a pretty good story about ancient civilizations seeing a star go supernova and it later being linked to this nebula.  I went out on the back porch and unpacked the scope and prepared to start my marathon.  It wasn't the clearest of nights ever and I had been at a baby shower and checking out Kurt's new house in unsober conditions, but I thought it was a good night to start this thing.  There was a 3rd quarter moon low on the horizon and Jupiter was still behind the trees to my east.  Aldebran, the bull's red eye, was above the trees.  I read tonight that M1 was in Taurus so I thought I had a shot.
I don't really know how to work my scope and I had no real idea where or if I could find M1 from my back porch.  How did Messiers find this thing first.  How was the pleiades 45th?  I checked the internet and found out that M1 was between one of Taurus's horns and betelgeuse.  It might be above the trees now, but when I was looking it was too low for me to see.  So I started my Messier's marathon with M45- the pleiades.  I'm not sure if you are supposed to go in order or finish in a certain amount of time. I tried to start with 1 but it wasn't up yet.  I needed some success tonight so I tuned into the 7 sisters.  I even woke Lauren up to share the start of my journey.  She looked through the eyepiece and said " I see a lot of stars."  It was magical.  She immediately went back to bed and I thought I'd catalogue the nights events.  By the way I just went out back to pee over the porch and betelgeuse has made it above the trees.  I could break the scope back out and try to see M1 now but this is a messier's marathon, not a sprint.